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“While thumbing through a book, I came across an idea that changed my whole outlook – between what happens to us and our response is a space, and the key to our growth and happiness is how we use that space. ” – Stephen Covey
This week’s habit brings us back to the first of “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, Be Proactive. It’s a perfect idea to reiterate as we start a new calendar year. Our focus this week is the Pause Button. This is the button that lies between an event and our response to that event. Our decision to be reactive or proactive is how carefully we push the pause button and allow ourselves to do the next right thing. Pausing can take a second but could mean walking away for a few moments from a tense situation to settle down.
However long it takes, the pause allows us to think more clearly and not respond from our emotional brain, but instead think and act from our intelligence. When we pause, we use the following four human gifts:
  • Self-awareness (I know what makes me tick)
  • Conscience (I know what is good and right)
  • Independent will (I have the power to make my own decisions)
  • Imagination (I can be creative in my choice of responses).
Here are some examples of using the pause button:
  • Heart – Pause and consider how the other person might be feeling or thinking before acting.
  • Mind – Ask questions that will cause your child to “do the math” before making a hasty decision. Avoid providing the answer!
  • Body – Gently breathe before venturing into a physical skill that requires concentration and focus.
  • Soul – Use a “time out” to have a child reflect on what the better version of themselves would do in a challenging situation.
It is a common practice to react based on our moods, feelings, and circumstances. Proactive people pause and respond base on principles, values, and goals. Pausing gives you the freedom to choose your response and allows the intellect of your brain to make good choices. That freedom expands opportunities and leads to win-win conclusions.